Taekwondo is a Korean form of martial arts which utilizes kicking and punching along with jumping, spinning and skipping to improve the spirit. Taekwondo was heavily influenced by Shotokan Karate during the Japanese occupation of Korea which began in 1910 and ended in 1945. In fact, the Pyoungan forms, the very first set of Taekwondo forms, are an exact clone of the Shotokan Karate Heian forms. Taek Kyon was an ancient Korean martial art that also heavily influenced Taekwondo. This martial art is not, however, the same martial art as Taekwondo. In the last decade or so, there has been a tendency to leave Karate out of Taekwondo's history. At South Miami Taekwondo, we practice the oldest form of Taekwondo, more along the lines of Moo Duk Kwan / Tang Soo Do, another predecessor of Taekwondo and a style very similar to Shotokan Karate.
Modern, Olympic Style Taekwondo
Most Miami Taekwondo classes are Olympic style. It is exciting to watch and practice, sport oriented, and focuses on strategies for making points. Hand techniques are limited to punches to the body, and points are based largely on POWER! Thus, punches are all but ignored. The kicks, then, receive almost all the focus. This results in a HUGE library of kicks, all of which are designed for devastating power generation, and all of which may be customized and altered almost infinitely. While we practice this style at times, we do not do it exclusively, or even often.
Moo Duk Kwan / Tang Soo Do Style Taekwondo
Miami Taekwondo schools rarely practice this style... unless of course you happen to walk into our place. Also known as "Point Style," this is more akin to kick boxing. Like Olympic style, it's also based on competition, and similar to if not identical to Karate style competition sparring. Since punches, backfists and ridgehands are used, there is a much richer variety of hand techniques. Like the kicks of Taekwondo, there are virtually infinite ways to vary these hand techniques using spins, jumps, turns and combinations. This is style we use in every day sparring training. In our view, it's a little more applicable to self defense. Kicks are of course much stronger and more powerful, but it is the feet we use to escape - and thus using them as weapons puts them at risk of injury. Also, kicks require more distance, which is not always available in self defense.
One thing you'll never hear at THIS Miami Martial Arts school is "You can't train today." No. You train whenever you like, every single class, every single day. The only thing you'll ever hear US say is "Where were you yesterday? Train MORE!"